Home Puzzles Candidates Day 14: Nakamura and Ding battle for… probably nothing?

Candidates Day 14: Nakamura and Ding battle for… probably nothing?

Candidates Day 14: Nakamura and Ding battle for… probably nothing?


The Candidates Match 2022 concluded yesterday with the final spherical. It was a day stuffed with motion and three decisive outcomes out of for. Ian Nepomniachtchi, having already gained the match, secured a draw and a powerful 9.5/14 total rating. Ding Liren seized the coveted second place spot on the end line.

Nepomniachtchi joins an elite membership of gamers who’ve gained the Candidates consecutive occasions, and can get a second shot on the World Championship. We must look ahead to Carlsen’s choice to see if Ding’s run for the 2nd place spot will yield him one thing greater than an elevated prize and glory.

Each day, Lichess is offering a broadcast of the video games performed in real-time. We even have a collection of annotated video games by GM Ulvi Bajarani and video recaps by WGM-elect Jesse February.

Liren Ding – Hikaru Nakamura 1 – 0

Magnus actually did us a favor when you concentrate on it.

If he was positively going to play there wouldn’t be a lot to see this spherical. Nepomniachtchi would have already clinched the one spot that issues, and we’d solely be taking part in chess as a result of they already bought tickets to 14 rounds. As a substitute, there was nonetheless a (potential) World Championship spot on the road! If Naka holds the draw it goes to him, if Ding can win he will get it! What (potential) pleasure!

Like many must-win video games, the opening was not reduce and thrust. The participant who wants a draw has apparent causes for preferring calm waters. The participant that should win typically doesn’t play sharply both. Initially, many sharp openings have on the spot pressured attracts lurking within the corners. Secondly, an unreasonable dedication to sharpness typically simply results in worse positions, the type which are even tougher to win than even ones.

Early on, Nakamura was in a position to get the queens exchanged off the board, one thing that always helps the participant aiming for a draw, however the entire different items had been nonetheless on the board, which left Ding one thing to work with at the least. Nakamura’s plan of exchanging bishops on d5 was not one of the best, and after it was executed Ding appeared to have a small benefit. His rooks had been organized on the c-file and prepared for motion whereas Black’s d-file was not equally thrilling. Ding managed to get a pawn to h5, which may be arduous to judge, however the truth that it lived to the tip of the sport means that Nakamura maybe ought to have prevented it.

The primary actual clear error of the sport got here on transfer 35 with Nakamura’s 35 Bd8, though Ding shortly returned the favor with 38 e4. Sadly for him, Nakamura had a second favor able to go instantly and it might be the sport’s final. 38… f3 would have stored hope alive but it surely remained unplayed, and issues shortly went downhill. Nakamura resigned on transfer 58.


Jan-Krzysztof Duda – Ian Nepomniachtchi ½ – ½

Maybe Magnus Carlsen, or different potential World Championship contributors had been carefully watching this sport, to see how Nepomniachtchi’s Petroff held up. Duda tried the three. d4 line and the Petroff appeared to carry up moderately nicely. Nepomniachtchi missed an opportunity to take some initiative with 15…d4. He performed it just a few strikes later, however by then it had misplaced its punch. Nepomniachtchi then grabbed a spicy pawn, leaving Duda to reap the benefits of the time wasted as compensation. Duda then sacrificed a chunk, however the pleasure was short-lived as the sport arrived shortly to a drawn endgame. It was formally agreed to be drawn on transfer 48.


Richard Rapport – Teimour Radjabov 0 – 1

For a spherical that 75% “didn’t matter” we positive acquired to see some good video games! We had one other non-drawn Berlin opening on this sport, though this one will hardly harm the opening’s status. White’s 9 Na5 seems to be unusual, but it surely’s been performed earlier than, and with good impact. White is slightly bit higher in that place. The benefit was carried all the way in which to maneuver 19 till Rapport gave it away with a doubtful piece sacrifice. Radjabov missed his first likelihood to take an enormous benefit with 20.. Bxc4, however didn’t miss the second and outplayed Rapport over the following few strikes. He resigned on transfer 33. Maybe Radjabov is the form of participant who gained’t begin a struggle however is completely able to ending one if it arrives by way of the opposite participant.

Radjabov was one thing of a charity case for this occasion as he didn’t qualify by way of the conventional means. As a substitute he was gifted a spot as penance for the way poorly he was handled within the earlier candidates match when he accurately predicted that attempting to run the match throughout a pandemic was a foul thought, a number of months earlier than FIDE non-voluntarily figured it out themselves.

You is likely to be forgiven for considering he wasn’t fairly as much as the identical stage of the opposite gamers, however nothing in his video games would recommend that, fairly the alternative the truth is. With at this time’s victory he took third within the occasion, considerably forward of many gamers that certified by non-bad-idea-predicting strategies.


Fabiano Caruana – Alireza Firouzja 0 – 1

In the future when all of the arduous edges have been sanded off of Alireza, and he’s traded in his Najdorf for the Petroff like Nepomniachtchi has, we could miss this youthful model of him. It’s such a pleasure to look at Tremendous Grandmasters earlier than they determine that they will’t simply attempt to win each sport towards each participant eternally.

Caruana’s well-known preparation served him nicely on this one, as he was clearly a bit higher out of the opening. Nevertheless, as the sport continued, it slowly turned to Firouzja’s favor. He secured an endgame that was near successful and whereas Caruana probably may have efficiently defended himself, 60 Ne4 put an finish to issues shortly.




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